Wednesday 22 January 2014

Response to SeaWorld's Condemnation of the Taiji Drive Hunt and My Solution to SeaWorld's Captive Orcas

 It is good to hear that a large business such as SeaWorld opposes the hunt in the letter they posted after all the outrage over the 250+ bottlenose dolphin drive in Taiji on January 21, 2014  and that every facility in the USA opposes it. I hope they can use that influence to bring the drive hunts to  an end. 

As you [SeaWorld] state that in the video  on your blog post you also got dolphins from there at one time although they were not rescued as you say as we all know why they drive dolphins instead of killing them at sea as they do the Dalls Porpoises in their thousands. That beside as least you have given a statement opposing it and it makes the other parks who look to you for guidance in Dubai, Japan, China etc realize it is wrong.

SeaWorld video from April 2010 after The Cove came out in 2009 and won an Oscar for Best Documentary:

I was quite warming to the video until it changed to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals as if Seaworld was a rescue facility. I really wish it was, but as rescue and rehab specialists surely starting that in your own back yards would be the thing to do.

I think the whole thing has lost direction since Blackfish. Many protestors were protesting long before that film was made and it is used as a smokescreen now, aiming at pulling it apart rather than on things that have gone wrong. Evidence is evidence and a lot of it written by Seaworld in their own orca profiles. To the pro cap people ignore Blackfish and do some research of your own, things like, in Orkid's profile how many times has she been involved in incidents with trainers? How many babies did Corky have and where are they and why? Why does it say in Tilikum's profile '' he was involved in an incident in 1999 resulting with the drowning of a guest in his pool although his participation is not known'' Well I found Daniel P Dukes autopsy report  easily enough  it shows both pre and post mortem trauma looking very much like he pulled him in, then there was Alix Martinez's death a couple of months before Dawn Brancheau's death, if trainers had been taken out of the water then rather than going to court for Kelly Flaherty Clark to say it doesn't happen in her park, then Dawn would still be here. Why was that report not in Tilikum's profile which the trainers use to learn about the animal.

I have never understood why if a zoo say builds an aquarium, the fish have rocks, weed, stones and everything they need to make it as natural as possible, but orca and dolphin tanks who have large brains to occupy are expected to live in small bare tanks with nothing resembling their ocean habitat what so ever. Why is that? Something with a 10 second memory gets the great tank yet the thinking orca and dolphin get nothing.

There are many things gone wrong over the years and as Seaworld say they are rescue and rehabilitation specialists then surely they could use that expertise and the knowledge of the scientists worldwide to build a fantastic sea pen facility for these creatures. Look at the bay at San Diego Seaworld, that would make a fabulous sea pen facility where the orca could live a more natural life and also receive the care some of them need such as teeth flushing and medication. People can no longer use Keiko as the yardstick as it has been nearly 20 years since his release and science and research have learned so much more since then as have Seaworld.

For those who were born in the park, they have never experienced the tide, never played in the kelp, never surfed or even seen a wave. They have never seen a living swimming fish yet they are the ocean's top predator. Whilst there are orca still in the pool who have come from the ocean wouldn't it be better to let the younger ones learn from them. They would have the space to be the orca they were supposed to be, they could escape altercations and more importantly they could be reunited into their family groups.

It is a win win thing for Seaworld, I am certain pro cap people would still support the facility as they really don't need to see the orca jumping out of a pool, or see a dolphin jump through a hoop or balance a ball, they say they want to come to the park to see the orca they love and they would be guaranteed to still see them although it would be doing natural things rather than trained ones. Pro cap people would love to see them too as they also have great feeling for the animals, but refuse to see them in the conditions they are in. So Seaworld wins all ways round, more revenue and more people into the park, to see the animals they are rescuing and rehabilitating and Seaworld's reputation would be restored as a great rescue and rehab facility.

Orca from around the world could retire there, lone orca such as Lolita, Kshamenk, Kiska could come there and be with their own kind again and have the space to escape should altercations occur. Surely something like that would be better than as things are now. Every orca Seaworld has ever owned or come into contact with who have died in the past have left the bottom of the tank in a sling and onto the back of a truck. There is nowhere to retire the likes of Corky, Tilikum and older orca like Lolita too, so what is their fate, work until they die?

What a fantastic 50 year anniversary it would be for San Diego the park who started taking in the captives all those years ago now rehabilitating them back into their own environment. I will always pull up anything I think is wrong or has been wrong and I always will but I back mine up with evidence too, so rather than chunter about Blackfish or trainers and what their feelings are focus on the horrible things that have gone wrong like Gudrun, Nalani, Vicki, Tilikum and start to put them right and everyone will be happy.

This comment to SeaWorld was first posted on CCSBTS Facebook Page 21 Jan 2014

-Captive Cetaceans Stunningly Beautiful, Tragically Sad

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